Thursday, November 17, 2005


Jewish Businessman Charged in Iraq Bribe ScandalReport; Posted on: 2005-11-17 18:13:11
Philip Bloom allegedly paid $693,000 to win contracts Jewish businessman Philip Bloom appeared in a Washington, DC federal court on Wednesday, November 16 (2005) to face multi-count charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to launder money, interstate transportation of stolen property and conspiracy for what prosecutors say was a bribery and kickback scheme to win US taxpayer funded contracts to "rebuild" Iraq. According to reports, Bloom paid a minumum of $693,000 to US occupation officials and others in exchange for lucrative deals. The charges are the first to be levelled against a US business figure around the hugely expensive American recontruction effort in Iraq. Transparency International, a watchdog group, said the project award system in US-occupied Iraq could soon become the "biggest corruption scandal in history." The Justice Department is reportedly examining at least a dozen similar cases. Investigations were carried out by the US Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR). According to a US government affidavit, "Bloom conspired with U.S. government contract employees and military officials to obtain fraudulently government contracts which were awarded for the reconstruction and stabilization of Iraq." Prosecutors say that Bloom worked with at least two unnamed regional Coalition Provisional Authority officers, one a comptroller, the other a financing officer, to bribe various officials and rig fake bids to award contracts to Bloom firms, GBG Holdings, Global Business Group and GBG-Logistics Division. The government affidavit maintains that, "The investigation has revealed that contracts were awarded to businesses controlled by Bloom through a rigged bidding process, that work was ordered by certain of Bloom's co-conspirators and that such contracts were authorized for payment in some cases without any performance of the contracts by Bloom's companies." Among the projects were the contracts for the reconstruction of a "police training facility" and a library in the areas where his alleged co-conspirators were stationed. The library work alone added up to a whopping $1.3 million in taxpayer funds. The government says in its affidavit that "Bloom directly paid or arranged for the payment of bribes, kickbacks and gratuities amounting to at least $200,000 a month" to various corrupt officials -- military officers and civilian contractors alike. The bribes were laundered through banks based in
Switzerland, the Netherlands and Kuwait. Bloom is also alleged to have purchased real estate in the United States for officials as bribes, as well as jewels. While he is a US citizen, Philip Bloom lives in Romania where he works with Bogdan Baltazar at Baltazar, Bloom and Pirvulescu, a financial consulting firm. According to the website of the Federation of American Scientists, Baltazar's name appeared on a list of alleged former agents of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu's dreaded Securitate secret police. After Ceaucescu's fall at the end of 1989 Baltazar became chairman of Romania's second largest bank. He also became a leading figure in the pro-'Western' Democratic Party. Bloom and Baltazar's firm are "advising" a Portuguese concern on its attempted takeover of Romania's top bank. Baltazar is standing behind his partner, telling Romanian television that Bloom was "framed." Why someone with business links to an alleged ex-Communist intelligence agent, given America's present hyper-paranoid security climate, is an open question. "Baksheesh" -- bribery -- is a common business practice in the Mideast and parts of Europe, and Bloom may well have perfected his talents in post-Communist Romania, a land still deluged in Marxist-era red tape. On his Global Business Group website the firm bemoans having to "deal with Romania’s often Byzantine-like mentality." It quotes Bloom's advice about business in Romania. "Do your homework, surround yourself with good people, network on every side and never, never let your guard down." The question of what observers call profiteering in relation to George Bush's policies is a very serious concern for patriots. As reported here at V-News, Bush's plan to use tax funds to purchase millions of doses of the drug Tamiflu in the interests of grappling with the feared Asian avian influenza outbreak has fattened the wallets of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other friends of the president. Rumsfeld was the chairman of Gilead, Tamiflu's California producer, and holds a chunk of shares in the company. The stocks have an estimated value of between $5 million and $25 million. Gilead share values soared soon after Bush's announcement, which skeptic Dr. Joseph Mercola estimates will cost the US taxpayers $20 billion. The war on Iraq is a bonanza for corporate welfare recipients, with defense firms set to gobble up chunks of the fiscal 2006 defense budget of $441 billion. Domestically, the Homeland Security program is a massive cash cow for private corporations. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina numerous questions were raised about the system of awarding contracts as part of the response and rebuilding efforts. Incompetent Homeland Security satrap, the Anti-Defamation League-linked Michael Chertoff told questioners concerned about the contract problems that, "We're very mindful of the need to be responsible stewards of public money. If there are contracts that turn out to be not properly cost effective or inappropriate...we can redo those contracts." Chertoff's "stewardship" included continuing to pay Michael Brown -- Chertoff's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) underling who was forced to resign and take the heat off Chertoff and Bush -- long after Brown had supposedly stepped down. According to reports, an estimated 80% of FEMA post-Katrina contracts were awarded without even the formality of proper bidding procedures. Bush's pro-globalist agenda has enriched regime pals like Wal-Mart, whose trade with Red China adds to the gigantic US trade deficit with the Middle Kingdom. Domestically, Bush's pro-corporate immigration policies have aided employers who pass on healthcare and social costs to local communities, gutting the wage scale in the process. Civilian contractors, many of them with deep Zionist links, have been cited in various scandalous actions in Iraq, including around the infamous Abu Ghraib prison torture investigation. In May (2005) 19 "former" Israeli soldiers fighting as mercenaries were captured after firing on US Marines. Philip Bloom remains in custody.

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